The Irish economy is loosing €2.35 billion in revenue especially the fuel industry due to the influx of illegal sales, according to a recent report issued by Retail Excellence.
Legitimate operators of fuel business will be driven out of the market if smuggling is allowed to continue unabated.
According to Lorraine Higgins, Head of Public Affairs and Communications, “For many of our member companies September to March is a busy time for them with inclement weather meaning solid fuel sales represent up to a half of their turnover. However, our retailers are not competing on a level playing field despite the cold snap. Stocks are high in most our member businesses right now just as illegal business is thriving”.
She also stressed that the illegal activity can be attributed to fuel being brought in from the north, without carbon tax being paid on it.
“This situation can be easily explained by the influx of fuel being brought in from Northern Ireland without carbon tax being paid on it. We have received some reports that gangs are travelling the length and breadth of the country selling this fuel and our road network is a brilliant way for them to harvest the benefits of their illegal activity”.
Consumers are advised to be extra vigilant as unsafe coal for example can be explosive.
“However, while tax is one concern there is a more serious issue at hand pertaining to safety. We have been informed that counterfeit coal bags are being used containing unsafe coal with a higher sulphur content which can be explosive and volatile. Consequently, consumers need to be vigilant and should also be aware that legal briquettes have a green band on them. If they are wrapped with a yellow one then they have emananted from another jurisdiction and are illegal here without carbon tax being paid”. Higgins added.
© 2017 - Checkout Magazine by Donna Ahern